The Notorious B.I.G. will forever be known for having astonishing talent and a smooth, lovable demeanor. And, of course, there’s the plethora of accessories he made popular through his music and fashion.
The Notorious B.I.G. Biggie Smalls. The King of New York. The Black Frank White. Big Poppa. Christopher Wallace, the Brooklyn native known also by these aforementioned aliases has been gone for over a decade, yet his influence on hip-hop culture has been monumental even in his absence.
The late and great emcee was considered light-years ahead of his time, which is probably why he’s still spun regularly on radio stations all over the globe. Biggie’s still in the forefront of the minds of virtually all those who appreciate hip-hop; from those who remember scrambling home and eagerly ripping off the plastic to the ’94 classic Ready To Die to the younger guys and girls that had no qualms illegally downloading Biggie’s posthumous album, Duets: The Final Chapter.
The one thing Biggie did phenomenally that was constantly overshadowed by his dazzling wordplay was dress himself stylishly. The younger generation didn’t really get a glimpse of his ability to start trends, but they definitely heard about it in his countless rhymes filled with constant references to his various designer clothes and accessories. To celebrate the 12th anniversary of Biggie’s passing, we decided to focus on the rapper’s most memorable fashion contributions to hip-hop.
Bill Cosby’s Heathcliff Huxtable might have a leg up on Big in this category. But the Brooklyn Dons both shared a love for the knitted sweaters from the Australian company. Groovey Lew said Biggie fell in love with Coogi when he met an Uptown kid named Walt G wearing ’em. It didn’t take long before the Bed-Stuy bandit ditched his black hoodies and Tims for the textured threaded sweaters. He went from ashy to classy, and Big Poppa was born.
Once Biggie introduced the luxury company to the streets, he helped start a trend in colorful clothing that streetwear brands everywhere adopted
Versace Shades and Shirts
Poppa and Puff were living the good life way before Kanye and T-Pain got together to talk about the spoils of fame. So when the Bad Boys hit platinum status, their threads changed along with their tax brackets. In came the flashy dress shirts and shades from Italy. The rags sparked a new era in hip-hop, as MCs went from standing in front of their stoops for videos to standing in front of million-dollar mansions decked out in the silk couture. Versace didn’t normally sell clothes in Big’s size, so occasionally the company would specially make their shirts to fit Frank White’s husky frame. Troy from designer/stylist 5001 Flavors would mostly tailor Big’s Versace shirts. As for the shades, Big had dozens of the same expensive pair. He would lose some and give some away, so he had to keep purchasing them.
Biggie copped his Rolex sometime after the “Juicy” video was shot and before “Big Poppa” was released as a single. His paper was up, and his confidence was high. He looked at the Rollie as a status symbol. Of course, he had to get it tricked out. He had the diamonds raised. It became one of the ultimate hip-hop pieces in the wake of his famous line from “Mo Money, Mo Problems.”
Of course biggie was the tastemaker for a lot of trends today, but we couldnt list them all….and there you have it.